Tuesday 29 April 2014
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that firefighters across England and Wales will strike as follows:
- Friday, 2 May starting at 12 noon, ending at 5pm.
- Saturday, 3 May starting at 2pm, ending at 2am on Sunday, 4 May.
- Sunday, 4 May starting at 10am, ending at 3pm.
Steven Exley, Interim Assistant Director Estates and Facilities, asks that you make extra checks to ensure that items are not left unnecessarily switched on before the offices, labs and buildings are closed, and corridors and rooms are free from rubbish, so that we can minimise the risk of fire and alarms being activated unnecessarily.
Please also be careful at home and take extra care to prevent a fire or avoid unnecessary call outs to the Fire Brigade.
For up-to-date information on whether or not the strike is going ahead or whether more are planned, please check the government website: www.london-fire.gov.uk.
A helpful guide to preventing fire at home is available from the Fire Brigade website: www.london-fire.gov.uk/safetyathome.
During any proposed industrial action by the FBU there will be no change in the evacuation procedures that are in place on any QMUL property. The differences that need to be planned for relate to the level and speed of emergency response from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) and the self-help measures that therefore need to be in place as a reaction to this.
During any strike periods, there may be fewer available fire appliances and a longer wait for fire crews to get to the campus. Also those crews attending may not be as familiar with the local buildings or the campus layout.
Extra care to be taken
- Switch off PCs and any other electrical equipment possible before you leave work, if it does not need to run overnight or the weekend. If your colleagues have left already, please check to see what you can switch off in their absence.
- Good housekeeping is even more vital during periods of increased risk. Ensure that rubbish or furniture does not obstruct corridors or fire exits, or is piled up outside where there may be a risk of arson.
- Don’t smoke anywhere in QMUL buildings and do dispose of cigarettes safely.
- Fire Marshals and other responsible individuals should make additional checks of their areas before the buildings close and report fire risks to Security. Any damage to fire doors, extinguishers, or alarms should be reported.
- Keep fire doors closed to prevent smoke and any fire from spreading.
- Where possible all hot works and heat producing experiments should be cancelled. Where this is not possible extra checks should be made to ensure that the area is safe. It is recommended for ‘hot works’ that an extra hour (two hours instead of one) is added to the fire watch period. This is to ensure that no accidental fires are left smouldering after the hot works are completed.
- Students need to be extra vigilant and careful to reduce fire risks to an absolute minimum. Greater care when cooking, showering or using hair products is essential to reduce the risk of false alarms.
Usual emergency building evacuation procedure applies
- Don’t attempt to fight a fire unless you have been specially trained to do this. If you do discover a fire, activate the fire alarm by pressing the red “break glass” box next to fire exit door.
- If you hear the fire alarm, immediately leave the building by the nearest available exit and go to the fire assembly point.
- Direct others to the fire exits and if you are leading a meeting or event, make sure that the room is cleared before leaving.
- Use the stairs, not the lifts. If you are unable to use stairs, check now where the designated evacuation lift and/or safe refuge areas are located in your area.
- Do not re-enter the building until told it is safe to do so by a Fire or Security Officer.
Additional measures in place
- During the hours of any strike, Security will deploy extra patrols and employ an officer to monitor alarm systems as a dedicated role.
- Residents must do all that they can to minimise cooking related alarm activations as well as keeping on top of any accumulations of refuse etc. Residences Housekeeping team will do what they can to help with this.
- All alarm activations will be verified by patrols, prior to the LFB being called.